70 years on, Arbroath RNLI remembers those who made the ultimate sacrifice
At 12.50am on 27 October 1953, Arbroath lifeboat responded to a call in a storm. A storm so severe most would turn back, but not the crew of the Arbroath lifeboat. Six volunteers never made it home that fateful night, and 70 years on, Arbroath RNLI stands together to remember those who perished.
The disaster had a huge impact on the town with fathers, sons, husbands and friends lost in the tragedy. Undeterred, volunteers from the town soon stepped forward to crew new lifeboat from the relief fleet. The lone survivor, Archibald Smith, declared himself fit for service and returned to sea aboard the lifeboat. This selfless dedication is a fitting tribute to those who lost their lives, and 70 years on, the volunteer crew continue to save lives at sea with the thoughts of that significant day never far from their minds.
Volunteer coxswain, Michael Marr, joined Arbroath RNLI in 2008 and has been aware of those who’ve gone before him throughout his time with the RNLI. Michael said: “It is a huge part of the history here in Arbroath, and the six who sadly lost their lives are forever in our thoughts, especially during stormy weather, we remember the ultimate sacrifice they made in saving lives at sea.”
Station volunteers will join members of the Arbroath community in paying their respects in the town today. Wreaths will be laid graveside at 12.00pm before the lifeboat launches at 1.00pm to pay respects at sea. At 3.00pm, a service of remembrance will take place at the West Kirk.
Notes to editors
· A video to commemorate the loss in Arbroath is available for use here.
· Pictures are available for use here. Credit RNLI.
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The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.
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